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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Creative Ways to Give Back to Your Community

volunteering
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, there are four essential components of a life in addiction recovery: health, home, purpose and last but not least community. 

Perhaps the best way to develop a sense of community is by volunteering. By giving back to your community, you’ll enhance your self-worth, find meaning in your new sober life, build a network of healthy relationships, boost your job skills, reduce stress and reduce your risk of relapse. In other words, volunteering in the community is a perfect way to do something positive for yourself and your recovery while helping others at the same time.

Fortunately it’s pretty easy to find an opportunity to give back. There are plenty of local organizations that welcome volunteers – the key is just finding a cause that aligns with your own interests and passions. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Pal around with some pets. Animal shelters are a great place to lend a hand and spending time with animals will have plenty of mental health perks for you, too. Many shelters now have reading programs to help ease animals’ anxieties. Call your local rescue group to see how you can help.
  • Send a note. Handwritten “Get well soon” or “inspirational” cards can help cheer up members in your recovery community as well as others in the community at large, including children’s hospital patients, cancer survivors or even seniors. Put on your creativity cap and start sending colorful and uplifting wishes to those who need them the most.
  • Double up your recipes. The next time you plan on whipping up a batch of homemade cookies or comforting lasagna, consider making an extra batch to you local fire or police station or veteran’s group. It’s an easy way to thank them for their dedication and selfless services.
Help Yourself and Others at Haus Recovery
During your stay at the HAUS, we hope you take advantage of the mentorship offered, and in turn, benefit fellow residents with your personal recovery insights. In time, everyone grows in strength and empowerment as they share both doubts and successes. To learn more about our mentoring services, call today: 888-551-4715.



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

30 Days of Better Mental Health

It’s Mental Health Month, created by Mental Health America, and one of the many important messages this year is that small steps can have a big impact on your mental health. In fact, MHA created a list of things you can do this month to boost your emotional wellbeing and overall healthy self. 

Bonus: They’ll help give you greater strength to endure the ups and downs of recovery, too.
  1. Keep a journal. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for and 3 things you’ve accomplished
  2. Plan a sober holiday. Having something to look forward to has been study proven to boost happiness for up to 8 weeks, notes MHA. 
  3. Build on your strengths. Do something your good at and then use that self-confidence to tackle a tougher task. 
  4. Turn down the temp before your turn it. Keep your room cool – between 60˚ and 67˚ Fahrenheit – for optimal sleep.
  5. Make a plan. List one thing you want to improve in your life and one small step you can take to help that happen. 
  6. Get creative. Try a new recipe, write a poem, paint, experiment with a Pinterest project – whatever gets those creative juices flowing. 
  7. Treat yourself to dark chocolate. Go ahead and pop a few pieces a few times per week. According to MHA, chocolate is filled with flavanoids, caffeine and theobromine, which all work together to improve alertness and mental skills. 
  8. Share your story on social media. Talk about your personal experience with mental illness and/or addiction. This will not only empower you but may empower someone else to seek help. And don’t forget to include #mentalillnessfeelslike, notes MHA. 
  9. See the sunny side of things. Put a positive spin on something that wasn’t so great that happened in your day today. 
  10. Break out the crayons. Coloring for about 20 minutes can help you clear your mind. MHA suggests choosing a design that's geometric and a little complicated for the best results.
  11. Laugh it up. A good chuckle does wonders for anxiety. Call a funny friend, check out cute videos online or cue a comedy. 
  12. Go off the grid. Shut off your smartphone and disconnect for the day. This means no Facebook, twitter, text messages, emails, etc. Use the free time for a little face-to-face time with someone you care about. 
  13. Get down while you do housework. You’ll gain a sense of accomplishment by getting your chores done and you’ll boost your mood! Dancing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases feel-good endorphins in the body, according to MHA. 
  14. Let out a big yawn. This simple act has been shown to improve alertness and mental efficiency.
  15. Soak in a warm bath. Try adding Epsom salts known to boost magnesium levels, which can be depleted by stress.
  16. Write it out. Journaling has been linked to fewer symptoms of depression, especially if you’re writing about an upsetting or stressful experience. 
  17. Hang with a furry friend. Spending time with animals has been found to lower cortisol (stress hormone) and boosts oxytocin, which stimulates feelings of happiness. 
  18. Stay in the now. Try a little mindfulness meditation to help you stay in the present and prevent dwelling on the past or future. 
  19. Put on your tourist hat. Making time for fun is a surefire way to boost your mind. Why not start in your own town or city – you may be surprised by all of the cool things in your backyard. 
  20. Prep your week. Make your lunches and/or pick out your clothes for the week ahead – you’ll save time and sanity in the morning. 
  21. Load up on omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s, found in foods like wild salmon, flaxseeds or walnuts, help build healthy gut bacteria and decrease rates of depression and schizophrenia. 
  22. Forgive someone. People who forgive have better mental health and have been found to be more satisfied with their lives.
  23. Smile. Even if it’s forced, smiling can help lower your heart rate and tame tension.
  24. Send a thank-you note. Written expressions of gratitude are linked to increased happiness.
  25. Make a date with friends and/or family. According to MHA, people are 12 times more likely to feel happy on days that they spend six to seven hours with friends and family.
  26. Spend time in nature. Whether you take a stroll through a park or a hike in the woods, research shows that being in nature can increase energy levels, reduce depression and boost well-being, notes MHA.
  27. Get some mood-boosting vitamin D. The best way is soak up the sunshine for 15 minutes without sunscreen. 
  28. Step out of your comfort zone. Try something new. A big part of lasting sobriety and good mental health is finding sober excitement in your life. 
  29. Reward yourself. Even small milestones deserve a pat on the back. This will help keep you motivated and moving forward.
  30. Put exercise on your calendar. Whether you carve out 10 minutes or 30 minutes, write down a time that you’ll be able to be active and stick with it.  
Relapse Prevention at Haus Recovery
When the stresses of life overwhelm you, it’s easy to turn to your drug of choice in order to escape. Keeping relapse at bay is about cementing new habits and remaining accountable to the recovery support system – and we’re here to help. To learn more about our recovery residences, call today: 888-551-4725.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How to Be More Patient

how to be more patient
Having patience is linked with a host of health and recovery benefits. This includes being more mindful, less lonely and better able to overcome stressful situations and stick with goals. 

Simply put, patience is going to help you better deal with the ups and downs along your journey toward lasting sobriety. As you likely know, recovery requires lots of patience – with the process, with yourself and with loved ones.

So what if you’re just not a patient person? Many people in recovery aren’t. This is because you’ve likely spent a fair amount of time in “instant-fix” mode during active addiction. But here’s the good news: Patience is a skill that can be learned through practice – and these tips can help you get started: 
  • Make yourself wait. Test your willpower with small tasks – whether you make yourself hold off to eat dessert or choose a longer line in the grocery store. 
  • Embrace being uncomfortable. A big part of recovery is being okay with being outside your comfort zone. During these times, try to remind yourself that these feelings are temporary and that being impatient about your circumstances won’t help.
  • Just breathe. Inhale for a count of 7 and exhale for a count of 8 – this simple breathing exercise can help you slow down and tap into your patient side.
  • Find a healthy release for your emotions. Even if you’ve mastered patience, you will get frustrated and lose your patience from time to time. And that’s okay – as long as you release that frustration in a healthy way. Some ideas: Take a walk, meditate, vent to a good friend, or distract yourself with a funny movie or YouTube video. 
Post-Treatment Support for Men & Women
At Haus Recovery, we provide our clients with continued support as they transition from a secure recovery environment to sober life filled with daily stressors and tension. To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Spring Clean Your Resume

spring clean your resumeSpring is the perfect time to “clean up” your resume and significantly improve it so you can start seeing better results. After all, just like our closets, resumes need a good yearly cleaning and/or organizing to determine what to keep, what to toss and what to emphasize to put your best foot forward. 

Here are few questions to ask yourself as you freshen-up your resume so it’s current and appealing to prospective employers.  

  • Is your experience still relevant? A good rule of thumb: You should only show the most recent 10 to 15 years of your career history. Take a look at your resume and determine what’s ancient history and what needs to be highlighted to meet the criteria of the positions to which you’re applying. For example, if you’re focused on a career in accounting, you no longer need to include your past job in a pet store.  
  • Are you grabbing the reader’s attention? Take a look at the “career summary” section of your resume and make sure that you’ve highlighted your experiences, skills and contributions in a succinct manner. The goal is to showcase your skill sets with no more than five or six lines of text, say resume experts. 
  • Are you using the right language? The best resumes often use strong action verbs — managed, launched, built, lead — at the beginning of each section. Read over your resume and edit any passive phrases like “responsible for” or “handled.” 
  • Are you being specific? Do your best to quantify your experience — for instance, can you attach a measurement to a past job task or accomplishment like an increase in profit or level of customer satisfaction? 
  • Are you being honest? Lying or “stretching the truth” on a resume is never okay. 
  • Is anything missing? Take a look at the specific requirements of your target job — do you possess these skills and are they coming across clearly on your resume? And if you find that you're missing any of these skill sets, why not use this time to start a plan to learn them. 
Employment Help at HAUS 
Finding and keeping a job, and making a contribution to society, is a pillar of recovery. After all, accountability and being self-supporting are vital steps to the reintegration process. Our staff will assist you with resume building and more. To learn about our sober living services, call today: 888-551-4715.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Spring Fun in Santa Monica

spring fun in santa monicaSpring has sprung and it’s the perfect time to step outside, enjoy the fresh air and take advantage of the abundance of seasonal activities taking place in Santa Monica! 

There’s plenty to do – from farmer’s markets to kite festivals and paddleboarding contests – and here’s the best part: it’s all sober fun!
  • Take part in the Annual Kite Festival on April 14 at Santa Monica Pier. Participants receive a free kite and kite makers from across the U.S. create a “gallery in the sky” as they showcase their unique designs.
  • Celebrate Earth Day with Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium on April 21. Participants who help with beach cleanup will receive free admission to the aquarium.
  • Come together with the Santa Monica community for a day of 5Ks, DJ-powered yoga sessions and guided meditation during Wanderlust 108—The World’s Only Mindful Triathlon on April 28. 
  • Watch top athletes compete in stand-up paddleboard, prone paddleboard, dory and swim races in the 8th annual Pier Paddleboard Race & Ocean Festival on June 9. 
And, of course, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy spring on weekends without any scheduled events. Try one of these ideas: 
  • Visit your local farmer’s market and stock up on seasonal produce like artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower and fava beans.
  • Plan an outdoor picnic and invite friends for a game of Frisbee.
  • Take a long hike or stroll on the beach.
  • Plant a garden filled with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Sit outside and meditate or write in a journal. 
Spring Recovery Fun in Santa Monica
Sustained recovery should incorporate daily fun and our Southern California location is blessed with mild temperatures and abundant sunshine, making it the perfect place to enjoy outdoor recreation as part of your recovery activities. HAUS has bikes, surfboards and paddleboards for residents to use, and we organize group activities and outings every week. To learn more about our sober living services, activities and amenities, call today: 888-551-4715.




Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Is Stress Contagious?

Feeling stressed? It could be contagious, according to research published in Nature Neuroscience. A new study found that you can pass tension to someone else – even a stranger – and without even knowing it.

“Recent studies indicate that stress and emotions can be ‘contagious,’ ” Jaideep Bains, a physiology professor at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, wrote in a press release. “Whether this has lasting consequences for the brain is not known.”

Although this was a mouse study, researchers believe these findings are also relevant in humans. “We readily communicate our stress to others, sometimes without even knowing it,” Bain says. “There is even evidence that some symptoms of stress can persist in family and loved ones of individuals who suffer from PTSD.”

What is stress? The American Institute of Stress defines it as “an emotional and/or physical response your body has to situations or change that make you feel uncomfortable or anxious” – and it’s different for everyone.

Those of us in the recovery world likely know that stress is a pretty well-know relapse trigger. What's more, chronic stress can lead to a host of health conditions, including high blood pressure, sleep disturbances, headaches and mood swings. It can also impact your relationships and productivity in the workplace. 

Being mindful of your own stress and how you feel around others who tend to be “stressed out” a lot is a great first step in taming tensions. The following anxiety-reduction techniques can help, too. Bonus: they'll also strengthen your recovery.
  • Regular exercise 
  • Stretching and breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Spending time in nature
  • Journaling
Get Nurtured in Nature
Our Southern California location is blessed with mild temperatures and abundant sunshine, making it the perfect place for outdoor recreation as part of your stress management and recovery activities. To learn more about our sober living services, activities and amenities, call today: 888-551-4715.



Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Signs of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

A big part of staying mentally healthy and preventing relapse is being able to take a good honest look at your relationships. After all, surrounding yourself with people who support you and make you a better you will only serve to help your lasting sobriety. 

Abuse can take many different forms, including emotional abuse, and the signs aren't always easy to spot. This is why it’s important to take a step back and consider any red flags that may mean it’s time to walk away. 

According to the National Domestic Violence hotline, you may be in an emotionally/verbally abusive relationship if you partner exerts control through:
  • Calling you names, insulting you or continually criticizing you
  • Refusing to trust you and acting jealous or possessive
  • Trying to isolate you from family or friends
  • Monitoring where you go, who you call and who you spend time with
  • Demanding to know where you are every minute
  • Trapping you in your home or preventing you from leaving
  • Punishing you by withholding affection
  • Threatening to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets
  • Humiliating you in any way
  • Blaming you for the abuse
  • Gaslighting
  • Accusing you of cheating and being often jealous of your outside relationships
  • Serially cheating on you and then blaming you for his or her behavior
  • Cheating on you intentionally to hurt you and then threatening to cheat again
  • Cheating to prove that they are more desired, worthy, etc. than you are
  • Attempting to control your appearance: what you wear, how much/little makeup you wear, etc.
  • Telling you that you will never find anyone better, or that you are lucky to be with a person like them
Let Our Mentors Guide You
Even with the recovery skills you’ve gained, you may feel uneasy when it comes to relationships. One of the advantages of sober living at HAUS is having fellow residents and a wonderful support team to help you stay clean and respect yourself while you transition from treatment to “normal life.” To learn more about our mentoring services, call today: 888-551-4715.